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Welcome to Portal

The Smarter Balanced Portal has two basic functions. For non-logged-in users, it provides generic information regarding Smarter Balanced assessments, including links to download the Secure Browser. For logged-in users, the portal provides links to only the components for which the logged-in user has permissions, in the private pages. Some links may also be available on public-facing pages - but those are left to the discretion of the deploying entities. Portal's main features include:

  • SSO Integration
  • Private and Public pages
  • Built on the popular Wordpress platform


This project is licensed under the GPLv2.

Getting Involved

We would be happy to receive feedback on its capabilities, problems, or future enhancements:

  • For general questions or discussions, please use the Forum.
  • Use the Issues link to file bugs or enhancement requests.
  • Feel free to Fork this project and develop your changes!

Module Overview

The Portal consists of Wordpress installation plus the use of a customized SAML/SSO plugin (saml-20-single-sign-on).


Portal logged-in user functionality is dependent on the following SmarterApp components:

  • Permissions
  • Program Management
  • Single Sign On (OpenAM v.11.0.+)


  1. Install Wordpress on a Linux box (Ubuntu Linux 12.04+ recommended)
  2. Configure Wordpress according to the instructions provided in the Documentation folder.
  3. Log in to the WP admin interface as WP Admin and install the SAML 2.0 plugin code from this Portal repository, not the official saml-20-single-sign-on plugin.

Configuring the Permissions Component

  1. Create an entry for every component under "Manage Components".
  2. Portal makes API calls to both Program Management [R2] and Permissions [R3]. Program Management consumes roles directly, and they are aligned with specific permissions. The role required for obtaining Program Management information is Program Management Read, which is aligned with the Progman Read permission.
  3. There is no need to assign new permissions to the Portal components.

Creating the Portal User in ART

Create a new user in ART [R9] for Portal’s backend processing. The user must have the Program Management Read role, assigned at the highest available hierarchy level.

Configuring the Program Management Component

  1. Create an entry for each component being served by Portal. The “component names” in Program Management must exactly match the component names in Permissions app.
  2. Create a configuration for Portal containing a set of properties. Program Management properties need to be set for proper functioning of the logged-in portion of the Portal. Sample Portal properties may be found at [config/portal-progman-config.txt]. What follows is an explanation of each Program Management key/value pair.
  • iconRelativePath=wp-content/themes/smarterbalanced/images/component_icons/ - Local WP relative path of SmarterApp icon location for display on the logged-in Portal page.

For each component defined in the SmarterApp ecosystem, the following four key/value pairs must be defined:


As a working example, this is how Core Standards component would be set up.

  • Core Standards=component - Defines a component named "Core Standards." This component name, stripped of any spaces, becomes the identifier for the remaining three keys.
  • CoreStandards.displayname=Core Standards - Defines the name to use in Portal when displaying the icon for this component. The display name does not have to exactly match the component name defined above.
  • CoreStandards.url= - Defines the URL for the component itself; when logged-in users click here, they are redirected to this URL.
  • CoreStandards.icon=core_standards.png - Defines the icon name for this component. The icon must be located on the local filen system, at the location defined in iconRelativePath.

Repeat the above for each component that needs to be accessible from Portal.

Configuring SSO/SAML

  1. Go to /var/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins and rename saml-20-single-sign-on to, say, saml-20-single-sign-on-
  2. Log into the portal as WP Admin
  3. Go to /var/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins and rename saml-20-single-sign-on- back to saml-20-single-sign-on
  4. In the WP admin console, go to Settings -> Single Sign-On, and navigate to the Identity Provider tab.
  5. In the first URL box (IdP URL) enter the IdP config URL (e.g. https://your.openam.domain/auth/saml2/jsp/exportmetadata.jsp?realm=/sbac) and click "Fetch Metadata," then Update Options if all looks correct.
  6. Log in to the associated OpenAM instance, go to Federation tab, and add Entity. Enter the WP SP URL (e.g. http://portal.your.portal.domain/wp-content/plugins/saml-20-single-sign-on/saml/www/module.php/saml/sp/metadata.php/1), save.
  7. Click on the realm (e.g., sbac) and add the newly added SP to the Circle of Trust.
  8. Provision a new user in your SSO system using the Administration and Registration Tools (ART) component named, with a Role of Portal Agent at the Client level.

Portal Backend Service Configuration

Several services need to run on Portal in order to integrate with SSO, Program Management, and Permissions.

  1. Copy to /usr/local/bin/ (be sure to update the URLs within this script to match your environment)
  2. Copy to /usr/local/bin/
  3. Install a crontab for root to execute /usr/local/bin/ periodically - for example, once or twice daily.